A series of "immersive experiences" will be available at Graceland next month, according to officials with the Elvis Presley mansion and its associated attractions.
Starting Aug. 8 (the first day of "Elvis Week"), fans will be able to interact with 10 new video game-like "experiences" that use digital technology to place visitors alongside the King in movie clips and concert videos and on album covers and film posters.
The 10 "experiences" will be accessed via photo booth-like kiosks or interactive stations scattered throughout Elvis Presley's Memphis, the 200,000-square-foot complex of exhibits and other attractions located across the street from the Presley mansion.
"You're incorporated into the movie poster as if you're a co-star of Elvis," said Matt Mandrella, Graceland director of marketing. During some video games, "Elvis walks into the screen with you and poses for a photo," he said.
In another "augmented reality" experience, fans can place themselves inside a clip from the 1961 movie "Blue Hawaii," so that Elvis appears to be singing "Can't Help Falling in Love" to them. Another will place the visitor onstage during the famous '68 Comeback Special.
Just as an old-school photo booth issued souvenir photographs, the Graceland immersive stations will enable participants to download a free digital copy of their experience, which they can email to themselves, to be saved or shared on social media. Access to the booths is included in the cost of a ticket to Elvis Presley's Memphis.
A complication, in this era of heightened virus awareness, is that the "experiences" are activated largely through touch screens and iPad-like keyboard panels. Mandrella said Graceland workers will clean the panels frequently and otherwise try to ensure a "safe" environment.
The introduction of this high-tech component to the Graceland tour comes at an appropriate time.
Running Aug. 8-16, this year's annual "Elvis Week" — a celebration of the life and career of Elvis that coincides with the commemoration of the singer's death Aug. 16, 1977 — has been branded, to some extent, as a "Virtual Elvis Week," with most of the celebrity panels, "tribute artist" contests and other activities being reimagined as online Zoom-style gathering and streaming events. (Of course, the annual Candlelight Vigil will take place the evening of Aug. 15. In addition, visitors to the Graceland campus during Elvis Week will be able to view videos of past panels and tribute concerts inside the Graceland Soundstage, and they'll also be able to watch Elvis movies some nights on the outdoor "Graceland Drive-In" screen.)
The 10 "experiences" are:
- The "Eras of Elvis Game," a self-guided game that enables the contestant to "meet" a 1950s, '60s or '70s Elvis.
- The "Elvis Yourself" Virtual Dress-Up Experience, in which fans can "wear" one of Elvis' famous costumes.
- The Elvis Album Cover Photo Booth, in which fans can place themselves onto a famous album cover.
- The Elvis Move Match Game, which enables the player to "meet" one of Elvis' big-screen characterizations.
- The Interactive LED Dance Floor Quiz, which allows visitors to test their Elvis IQ in an illuminated dance floor setting.
- Elvis' Interactive Golf Car Ride, which offers guests a virtual tour of the Graceland grounds from the vantage point of one of Elvis' golf carts.
- The "Can't Help Falling in Love" Augmented Reality Serenade, which virtually transports guests to the set of "Blue Hawaii."
- The Elvis Movie Posters Photo Booth, which enables visitors to place themselves inside a movie poster.
- The "Memories" Augmented Reality Serenade, which enables the visitor to take a seat onstage next to Elvis during the so-called '68 Comeback Special.
- "Elvis: Front Row," described as "an immersive concert experience."
or more information visit Graceland.com.